From the North Carolina Employment Security Commission, shared May 20:

RALEIGH — North Carolina’s unemployment rate remained at 9.7 percent for the second consecutive month. During the same time, the state gained 2,900 nonfarm jobs. This is the fourth consecutive month of job growth. The private sector has added 37,400 jobs since December.

“We continue to be encouraged by the job growth we have seen over the last few months,” said ESC Chairman Lynn R. Holmes. “Employers have been adding jobs since the beginning of the year. In keeping with Gov. Perdue’s mission on growing jobs, we remain committed to working with our economic development and workforce partners to put people back to work in North Carolina.”

Seasonally adjusted total nonfarm industry employment, as gathered through the monthly establishment survey increased by 2,900 to 3,892,900 in April. The largest over-the-month employment increase occurred in trade, transportation and utilities (+2,700). The largest decrease was in government (-2,300). Over the year, nonfarm industry employment has increased by 24,100 jobs.

The number of people employed (seasonally adjusted) increased by 10,716 to 4,053,947. The number of people unemployed decreased by 1,218 workers, to 433,969. Since this time last year, the number of people unemployed has decreased by 70,471 and the number of workers employed is up by 2,508. The state unemployment rate in April 2010 was 11.1 percent.

The next unemployment update is scheduled for Friday, May 27, when the county unemployment rates for the month of April will be released.

Editor’s note: For more state labor market data, read the entire N.C. Employment Security Commission news release about the April 2011 state unemployment rate.

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Kathleen O'Nan is a contributing reporter to Wmforo.

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